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Everything She Lost
by Alessandra Harris
I read this author's previous work and was enthralled by it, so when this one became available I was delighted to be able to get stuck into what I thought was going to be super read…I just had no idea how sensational it would be.
The story is about Nina and Deja and it is one that gives real depth and meaning to the intensity and bond that they share as they forge their friendship…but not everything is as it seems, so keep your wits about you. Nina is in for a rough ride.
Nina’s mental health issues have plagued her, her past bleeds into her here and now, her demons and uncertainties have permeated every aspect of her day, her waking hours have her coping with the fact that she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and for her sleep is something that never comes easy, the weight of her previous breakdown very far from the surface…I couldn’t help but feel broken for this strong woman who was doing everything she could to salvage a life that she believes is hers for the taking, the truth isn’t that simple because those that she should be able to rely on and those that have come into her life and offer their support and friendship are anything but what she needs. The level of betrayal that she experiences from those who are significant to her raised the hackles on the back of my neck, I was livid! How she managed to hold on to an semblance of normality I will never know.
Nina tries to take control of her health in a bid to keep the people she loves the most safe from the pain and impact that her diagnosis can have…she loves her husband and daughters but when it comes to him, I have to say she is a better woman than I am because I could barely find one redeeming quality about her old man, he was totally self-centred and that niggled me…but what he does later…Wow! I can’t say what I felt about him then, because I don’t think it would extend to much more than a whole list of expletives that might get totally out of control!
Deja, well there is a woman that I wasn’t sure what to make of initially, she seemed to be everything that Nina needed, the perfect friend but then again looks can be deceiving and she was dealing with her own sh*t.
But for me, as much as I didn’t ever really get to actually like her completely, I did understand why she was the way she was and why she did what she did. Many may think that she was in an almost impossible situation, but it was one entirely of her own making and one that sent reverberations of devastation to those around her. I get that life as a single mother is tough, but she is not the only person to have ever been in that situation, but Deja made a catastrophic decision when she embezzled a large amount of money from her previous employer because even though she now has a new career, she is being pressured to pay the money back, and the request carries the not so thinly veiled promise that if it is not paid back there will be unpleasant consequences. The decisions she makes in response to that force her into a decision that there is no coming back from, she starts sleeping with men for money…I am saying no more!
This is real life in all its guises, it is brutally honest and demonstrably accurate, it pulls no punches in its portrayal of the pain and impact of mental illness on not only the person diagnosed but also their extended circle of family and friends, I liked that the author didn’t sugar coat Nina’s situation and that she didn’t quickly lift the cloud that Nina feels encased by, anything else would have been a disservice…so my thanks and admiration to you Ms Harris for a job not only well done but for a story that is much needed.
This isn’t a light and fluffy read, it has a lot going on and a lot of it is troubling, from the get-go this will hold you hostage and resolutely refuse to let go. The character development is sensational and the detail on each and every page will steal your breath away.